What Is the Life Cycle of a Recycled Aluminum Can?
Video and infographic to share with your students!
Do you know what happens to an aluminum can after you drop it into the recycling bin? Find out with this video and free printable infographic poster! They explain the life cycle of a recycled aluminum can from start to finish. Scroll down to watch the video. Then print and hang the infographic in a central location to teach others about the process.
The Life Cycle of a Recycled Aluminum Can
The aluminum can is one of the most sustainable, convenient, and versatile containers. It’s lightweight, strong, and securely protects the quality of beverage products.
Aluminum cans are also very recyclable! The recycling process reuses 100% of the can’s materials, so preserving natural resources. Recycling aluminum happens pretty quickly too. From the time you throw a can into the recycling bin, it only takes about 60 days to recycle it into a brand-new can.
Stage 1: Used Can
This process begins when you place an aluminum can into a recycling bin. A recycling facility recovers the can and sends it to an aluminum refining plant.
Stage 2: Aluminum Ingot
Every can is first cleaned and melted into a solid, block form, called an ingot.
Stage 3: Rolled Aluminum Blanks
A machine heats the aluminum and presses it thin. Then, it punches the sheet of aluminum into circles called “blanks.”
Stage 4: Can Form
Each blank is molded using a form into the shape of a can. The top of the can is made separately and is attached to the can in the next stage.
Stage 5: New Can
Manufacturers fill and label the cans, then send them to stores, schools and vending machines.
Remember, aluminum cans can be recycled over and over again, so be sure to drop yours in the recycling bin every time!